House Armed Services Chair Ike Skelton Opposes DADT “Repeal” Effort

Per Spencer Ackerman, writing in the Washington Independent, House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) opposes the Levin/Lieberman/Murphy/Obama/grudgingly-Gates sham repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), the powerful veteran legislator who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, came out just now against the compromise. Skelton thought Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ initial preference for delaying any legislative action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” until a Pentagon working group instructs Gates on how the services feel repeal ought to proceed is the right way to go. And he read the reluctance in Gates’ acquiescence to the compromise as an opportunity to oppose the repeal push when Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) offers it as an amendment to the fiscal 2011 Defense Authorization bill during the House floor vote later this week.

Here’s Skelton’s statement:

“In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee this spring and in a recent letter, Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen asked Congress to defer any legislative action regarding ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ until after the Department of Defense completes its comprehensive review later this year. In a statement today, the Pentagon indicated that ideally, Secretary Gates continues to prefer that the Department complete this review before Congress considers legislation. This is a reasonable and responsible request that I respect.

“My position on this issue has been clear – I support the current policy and I will oppose any amendment to repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ I hope my colleagues will avoid jumping the gun and wait for DOD to complete its work.”

Will Skelton’s opposition be enough to derail this compromise-with-ourselves being hailed by Gay Inc’s Veal Pen and those in Congress we thought were our allies in favor of open service?

Stay tuned.

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